Hi Everyone! It’s Becky and I’m here to share with you the newish book “Down and Across” by Arvin Ahmadi.
Summary: Scott Ferdowski has a problem. Scott is unable to stick to things. He quit model UN, he quit Earth Club, and he just quit his new internship. But Scott has a plan. He is going to learn to have grit. However, to make his plan work Scott has to runaway to Washington D.C. and confront the world renowned expert on grit. Along the way Scott will make friends and maybe learn a little bit about himself.
Review: There were parts of this book that I just loved. We have a believable POC as our main character who moved beyond stereotypes and I thought that he was incredible. Scott was a complex character trying to decide where he belong and who he was going to be while dealing with family expectations. That part of the story was excellent. However, many of the wacky side characters in this book felt unnecessary and a little annoying. In particular, the female characters in this book felt more like caricatures then characters. Both of Scott’s possible love interests were extreme and unbelievable with Fiora and her crossword obsession definitely falling into Manic Pixie Dream Girl Land. However, that small character issues aside “Down and Across” is a fun, quick book about growing up that was able to be diverse without being a Diversity Book. The author was able to give page space to an Iranian main character, a homosexual secondary character and a character with possible mental illness without making the book feel like an After School Special which I think should be applauded. Plus, there is definitely a lesson to be learned about being true to yourself even if it goes against your family’s wishes. It is all these little positive pieces coming together that make this book worth reading.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5